Husker Writers tackle food’s role in identity, place, civic life

Each of the featured projects is an example of the students working to understand a local issue and to try to raise awareness of it or inspire their audiences to become more civically aware and engaged. As part of our partnership with Husker Writers, we're sharing a few essays created from this collaboration.

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This spring, Civic Nebraska partnered with a University of Nebraska writing class led by Mark Houston and ninth-grade geography students at Lincoln High School through the university’s Husker Writers program. The classes focused on how food can be tied to understanding identity, place, and civic engagement.

Students wrote and shared essays about their own food cultures, studied globalization and global food justice issues, and learned about civic engagement with a joint trip to the State Capitol and a classroom session with Civic Nebraska.

The ninth graders wrote about and shared their local knowledge with university students, who in turn students got to create writing, handouts, and a poster presentation for a live local audience at Lincoln High. The semester culminated in a three-part project in which university students made a collaborative Google Map based on their research, which they shared with the high school students. They then worked together to create thematic maps of various locations around the state.

These maps were incorporated into poster presentations that the students gave together in a showcase for other classes at Lincoln High. These presentations informed university students’ final research projects, some of which were chosen for publication here at Civic Nebraska.

Each of the following projects is an example of the students working to understand a local issue and to try to raise awareness of it or inspire their audiences to become more civically aware and engaged. We hope you enjoy just a few of the essays created from this unique collaboration.

Farmers, tariffs, and floods: struggles in Nebraska ag and how you can help by Reid Marco

US-Russia trade tensions and Nebraska’s role by Russell Stout

Ditching meat: How to curb climate change and take control of our health by Emma Lyness

Post-disaster food assistance by Brigitta Bogue

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